Earlier this week I was fortunate to be sent along to attend a preview screening of the new Luc Beeson movie Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets at New Farm Cinemas. New Farm is an inner city suburb of my hometown Brisbane but not a place I regularly visit. The nearby Powerhouse is where we saw The Soldier’s Wife performance. I found the independent New Farm Cinemas magical with an assortment of old movie and cinema memorabilia throughout its foyer. Additionally the seats were comfortable and modern. We may have to return soon.

Valerian itself has had a weak debut stateside while tearing up the box office in its home territory of France. Following bad reviews I attended with serious misgivings but hopeful. I was pleasantly surprised, there are many flaws with it but the 3D is the best I’ve seen since Avatar, there was a message to the film and while the humour, characterisation and dialogue was noticeably weaker I had a good time. Perhaps see and judge for yourself, those who only attend the cinema a handful of times a year face a difficult decision. There will be no doubt better films to see but maybe few that make as good a use of the big screen and 3D.

You can read more of my thoughts here

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. With over twenty years of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They also publish Scene magazine in print every month focussed mostly on music gigs, festivals, stand-up comics, fashion and interviews with local and international bands. If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts.

I consider myself very lucky to have had five film reviews published with them consisting of ones for Hidden Figures, Logan, The Fate of The Furious, 20th Century Women and now Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets.

-Lloyd Marken


  1. I haven’t read the graphic novel, so I have only your review, and the trailer, to give me a first impression. I like Besson films as a rule, but less so 3-D, which makes me dizzy. So, what does it seem like to me? I can ‘feel’ ‘The Fifth Element’, and see ‘Star Wars’ (a lot), ‘Avatar’, and ‘Dune’ in that clip. It’s as if they tried to cram in the best bits and ideas of half a dozen popular films from the genre.
    The daylight shots look more like animation in the clip, and strikingly unconvincing too.
    Seems like I might be watching this one on the TV one day…
    No reflection on your review, which explained it perfectly.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Thanks as always Pete for reading and for the kind words. In tone and look it is like The Fifth Element except I think The Fifth Element is a better movie in a lot of ways. The visuals are the best bit about it, for me even the things that looked unreal just made it all more otherworldly and magical. If I was urging you to the cinema it would be for Dunkirk but trust your friends who know you. I wouldn’t want you to make the rare trip only to be regretful. Awards season releases are to come and there’s still a few blockbusters coming later this year that I’m excited about. If you only see one film in 3D per year I think it would be this one. I’d be interested to find out if anything of it was shot using 3D cameras or if it was all post conversion work.

  2. You deserve to be published and recognized, Lloyd, you always give a comprehensive opinion, without giving away too much of the story – just enough to pique our interest.

    1. I don’t know GP, sometimes I give away too much of the plot but reviews at Scenestr force me to discipline myself to word count which I think gives me good habits for the longer reviews. You’re very kind.

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